Apr 8, 2011
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M&S poaches Morrison's Taylor for food business

Apr 8, 2011

April 7 - British retailer Marks & Spencer has hired Chris Taylor from grocer Wm Morrison to head its upmarket food arm, little more than a year after it poached chief executive Marc Bolland from the same firm.

Marks & Spencer branch in London

Marks & Spencer, which is Britain's biggest clothing retailer and also sells homewares, said on Thursday Taylor would replace Neil Hyslop, who is moving to the newly-created post of director of space planning and development.

The appointment is the latest in a string of high-profile hirings by Bolland as he looks to implement a plan announced in November to revamp stores and to expand online and overseas.

In February, he poached Laura Wade-Gery from Britain's biggest retailer Tesco to head up M&S's online business, and later that month he recruited Jan Heere from Spanish fashion group Inditex to lead its overseas expansion drive.

Taylor, a food retail veteran of over 35 years, was in charge of an expansion into convenience stores at Morrisons.

Britain's fourth-biggest grocer said his departure would not affect its plans and it would open its first convenience store in Ilkley, northern England, in July -- a month ahead of plan.

A spokesman said Taylor had already been replaced by Miles Foster and Keith Wright, who will head up convenience stores and merchandising and buying for the stores respectively.

Taylor will join M&S on May 3. Both he and Hyslop will report to director of retail Steve Rowe.

On Wednesday, M&S beat forecasts with flat quarterly underlying UK sales and said it was gaining market share.

(Reporting by Mark Potter, Editing by James Davey)

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